2,000 pirated DVDs seized and illegal piracy websites shut down in joint police and industry operation
31st August 2007
On 27 August, Victorian police raided the South East Melbourne residence of a 30 year-old man and seized over 2,000 pirated DVDs and computer equipment allegedly used to manufacture illegal optical discs. The man had allegedly been operating several web sites hosted out of the USA and Germany offering pirated music videos, movies and computer games to customers in Australia and overseas with the claim they were “original items”.
The DVDs seized included popular artists such as U2, AC/DC and Ben Folds Five as well as movies still showing at cinemas such as Die Hard 4 and Transformers.
The raid followed a lengthy joint investigation by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI). It will also be alleged that the man had previously been identified by AFACT in 2006 through its civil Tactics Against Auction Piracy (TAP) programme, which requires offenders to pay damages and undertakings not to re-offend.
“With the assistance of the Victorian Police, copyright owners have shut down this illegal website and intend to bring the operator before the courts,” said Sabiene Heindl, General Manager of MIPI. “Internet-based music piracy is a crime that can be detected and has consequences. Illegal operators can’t hide just because they are using the internet as their marketplace.”
“This raid again highlights the benefits of close cooperation between industries, as well as the commitment of the police in pursuing those who trade in illegal products on the internet,” said Adrianne Pecotic, Executive Director of AFACT.
Copyright infringement charges for selling infringing materials have been laid and the man will face court over the coming month. Penalties for copyright infringement are up to $60,500 and 5 years imprisonment per offence.
NOTES TO EDITORS
MIPI (www.mipi.com.au) is an organisation that provides investigative and intellectual property right enforcement related services to the Australian music industry and engages in anti-piracy education in Australia. MIPI members include Sony BMG, Universal Music, EMI Music, Warner Music, APRA I AMCOS and many small Australian music labels.
AFACT(www.afact.com.au) works closely with industry, government, police and educational institutions to address copyright theft and protect the interests of the film and television industry as well as the interests of Australian movie fans.
AFACT acts on behalf of the 50,000 Australians directly impacted by copyright theft including independent cinemas, video rental stores and film and television producers across the country.For further information contact:
Sabiene Heindl, General Manager, MIPI
Tel:0412 969 653
Adrianne Pecotic, Executive Director, AFACT
Tel:(02) 9997 8011